Dr Thomas Pugh

Dr Thomas Pugh

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Reader in Biosphere-Atmosphere Exchange

Contact details

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Tom Pugh is a scientist interested in interactions and feedbacks between the terrestrial biosphere and the global climate system, which he primarily investigates using computer models and big data synthesis. Read more about Tom's research at bioatmo.wordpress.com.


  • BSc (Hons) Environmental Science
  • PhD Environmental Science


Tom completed a PhD at Lancaster University studying the effects of tropical rainforests and oil palm plantations on tropospheric chemistry. He then carried out a postdoc at Lancaster investigating the interactions between plants and urban air pollution, before moving to IMK-IFU in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, where he broadened his horizons to work with global vegetation and climate models on questions of land-use change, forest mortality and food security. In 2016 he took up the position of Lecturer in GEES at Birmingham, where his work is closely linked with the Birmingham Institute of Forest Research (BIFoR). In 2018 he became Reader in Biosphere-Atmosphere Exchange at the University of Birmingham. In 2020 he took up a new position at Lund University in Sweden and currently splits his time between Lund and Birmingham.

Postgraduate supervision

Tom Pugh welcomes enquiries from students with interests in the interaction between terrestrial vegetation, biogeochemical cycles and climate. Please contact him if you are interested in working with him on the following core topics, or more generally within this theme.

> Interactions and feedbacks between climate change and forest mortality.
> CO2 fertilisation of vegetation and the global terrestrial carbon sink.
> Effects of biotic agents on forest vitality and biogeochemical cycling.
> How anthropogenic actions modify the structure and function of our forests.


Tom Pugh is a scientist interested in interactions and feedbacks between the terrestrial biosphere and the global climate system, which he primarily investigates using computer models and big data synthesis. Read more about Tom's research at bioatmo.wordpress.com.


Recent publications


Yu, K, Chen, HYH, Gessler, A, Pugh, TAM, Searle, EB, Allen, RB, Pretzsch, H, Ciais, P, Phillips, OL, Brienen, RJW, Chu, C, Xie, S & Ballantyne, AP 2024, 'Forest demography and biomass accumulation rates are associated with transient mean tree size vs. density scaling relations', PNAS nexus, vol. 3, no. 2, pgae008. https://doi.org/10.1093/pnasnexus/pgae008

Müller, C, Jägermeyr, J, Franke, JA, Ruane, AC, Balkovic, J, Ciais, P, Dury, M, Falloon, P, Folberth, C, Hank, T, Hoffmann, M, Izaurralde, RC, Jacquemin, I, Khabarov, N, Liu, W, Olin, S, Pugh, TAM, Wang, X, Williams, K, Zabel, F & Elliott, JW 2024, 'Substantial Differences in Crop Yield Sensitivities Between Models Call for Functionality‐Based Model Evaluation', Earth's Future, vol. 12, no. 3, e2023EF003773. https://doi.org/10.1029/2023ef003773

Asuk, SA, Matthews, TJ, Sadler, JP, Pugh, TAM, Ebu, VT, Ifebueme, NM & Kettridge, N 2023, 'Impact of human foraging on tree diversity, composition, and abundance in a tropical rainforest', Biotropica, vol. 55, no. 1, pp. 1-14. https://doi.org/10.1111/btp.13180

Camargo-Alvarez, H, Elliott, RJR, Olin, S, Wang, X, Wang, C, Ray, DK & Pugh, TAM 2023, 'Modelling crop yield and harvest index: the role of carbon assimilation and allocation parameters', Modeling Earth Systems and Environment, vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 2617-2635. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40808-022-01625-x

Araza, A, Herold, M, de Bruin, S, Ciais, P, Gibbs, DA, Harris, N, Santoro, M, Wigneron, JP, Yang, H, Málaga, N, Nesha, K, Rodriguez-Veiga, P, Brovkina, O, Brown, HCA, Chanev, M, Dimitrov, Z, Filchev, L, Fridman, J, García, M, Gikov, A, Govaere, L, Dimitrov, P, Moradi, F, Muelbert, AE, Novotný, J, Pugh, TAM, Schelhaas, MJ, Schepaschenko, D, Stereńczak, K & Hein, L 2023, 'Past decade above-ground biomass change comparisons from four multi-temporal global maps', International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, vol. 118, 103274. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jag.2023.103274

Gärtner, A, Jönsson, AM, Metcalfe, DB, Pugh, TAM, Tagesson, T, Ahlström, A & Park, PS (ed.) 2023, 'Temperature and Tree Size Explain the Mean Time to Fall of Dead Standing Trees across Large Scales', Forests, vol. 14, no. 5, 1017. https://doi.org/10.3390/f14051017

Pugh, T, Seidl, R, Liu, D, Lindeskog, M, Chini, L & Senf, C 2023, 'The anthropogenic imprint on temperate and boreal forest demography and carbon turnover', Global Ecology and Biogeography, pp. 1-16. https://doi.org/10.1111/geb.13773

Anderegg, WRL, Wu, C, Acil, N, Carvalhais, N, Pugh, TAM, Sadler, JP & Seidl, R 2022, 'A climate risk analysis of Earth’s forests in the 21st century', Science, vol. 377, no. 6610, pp. 1099–1103. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.abp9723

Franke, JA, Müller, C, Minoli, S, Elliott, J, Folberth, C, Gardner, C, Hank, T, Izaurralde, RC, Jägermeyr, J, Jones, CD, Liu, W, Olin, S, Pugh, TAM, Ruane, AC, Stephens, H, Zabel, F & Moyer, EJ 2022, 'Agricultural breadbaskets shift poleward given adaptive farmer behavior under climate change', Global Change Biology, vol. 28, no. 1, pp. 167-181. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.15868

Kondo, M, Sitch, S, Ciais, P, Achard, F, Kato, E, Pongratz, J, Houghton, RA, Canadell, JG, Patra, PK, Friedlingstein, P, Li, W, Anthoni, P, Arneth, A, Chevallier, F, Ganzenmüller, R, Harper, A, Jain, AK, Koven, C, Lienert, S, Lombardozzi, D, Maki, T, Nabel, JEMS, Nakamura, T, Niwa, Y, Peylin, P, Poulter, B, Pugh, TAM, Rödenbeck, C, Saeki, T, Stocker, B, Viovy, N, Wiltshire, A & Zaehle, S 2022, 'Are land-use change emissions in southeast Asia decreasing or increasing?', Global Biogeochemical Cycles, vol. 36, no. 1, e2020GB006909. https://doi.org/10.1029/2020GB006909

Wayman, JP, Sadler, JP, Pugh, TAM, Martin, TE, Tobias, JA & Matthews, TJ 2022, 'Assessing taxonomic and functional change in British breeding bird assemblages over time', Global Ecology and Biogeography, vol. 31, no. 5, pp. 925-939. https://doi.org/10.1111/geb.13468

Liu, D, Zhang, C, Ogaya, R, Estiarte, M, Zhang, X, Pugh, TAM & Peñuelas, J 2022, 'Delayed and altered post-fire recovery pathways of Mediterranean shrubland under 20-year drought manipulation', Forest Ecology and Management, vol. 506, 119970. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2021.119970


Maire, J, Alexander, P, Anthoni, P, Huntingford, C, Pugh, TAM, Rabin, S, Rounsevell, M & Arneth, A 2022, A New Modelling Approach to Adaptation-Mitigation in the Land System. in C Kondrup, P Mercogliano, F Bosello, J Mysiak, E Scoccimarro, A Rizzo, R Ebrey, M de Ruiter, A Jeuken & P Watkiss (eds), Climate Adaptation Modelling. 1 edn, Springer Climate, Springer, pp. 133-140. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-86211-4_16


Lee, H, Pugh, TAM, Patacca, M, Seo, B, Winkler, K & Rounsevell, M 2023, 'Three billion new trees in the EU’s biodiversity strategy: low ambition, but better environmental outcomes?', Environmental Research Letters, vol. 18, no. 3, 034020. https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/acb95c

Review article

Hartmann, H, Bastos, A, Das, AJ, Esquivel-muelbert, A, Hammond, WM, Martínez-vilalta, J, Mcdowell, NG, Powers, JS, Pugh, TAM, Ruthrof, KX & Allen, CD 2022, 'Climate change risks to global forest health: emergence of unexpected events of elevated tree mortality worldwide', Annual Review of Plant Biology, vol. 73, no. 1, pp. 673-702. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-arplant-102820-012804

View all publications in research portal


vegetation-climate interactions; terrestrial carbon cycle; tree mortality; climate impacts on forests/agriculture; carbon storage in ecosystems